Antonio Lupi Chicago Italian Bathroom Design Showroom
Perennial Centennial

The Garfield Park Conservatory turned 100 this month, and they’re transitioning into the second phase of the annual Spring Flower Show, which will be blooming until May 10. So it’s aloha azaleas and hiya hydrangeas—gardeners have installed more than 400 plants, some of which are direct descendants of 1893 Columbian Expo varieties. Tulips, lilacs, and hollyhocks make up the supporting cast. I like taking a time-out visit to these stately old gardens in their fin de siècle setting once in a while, especially when there’s a big show like this going on. A buzz-worthy gift-shop souvenir is handcrafted honey, made by bees that live in the Conservatory and gather nectar from flowers in and around the grounds. It’s processed and jarred by the staff, and sold fresh. Beats a tote bag or refrigerator magnet, hands down.

Green House Effect

The kitchen and bath retailer Community Home Supply is bringing in some wine, cheese, and eco-experts this Thursday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. for the kick-off of the “Going Green At Home” program of events, which will continue through April 25. Richard Blender of Wilkinson Blender Architects, one of the first firms to complete a LEED-certified home in Chicago (and one of our go-to builders for savvy urban planning), and Ira Singer of Mosaic Constructionwill be speaking on how to save some greenbacks by making simple changes around the house, while also saving the earth. Win a Gwyneth toilet from Toto (I wonder if it blogs…) or a Rinnai tankless water heater system with installation included—a $4,000 value.

Jayson Flea Market

I’m itching to get over to Jayson Home & Garden this weekend (April 17-19) for its annual Spring Flea Market. This winter the buyers made stops in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Argentina, as well as hitting regional stateside spots like Palm Beach and upstate New York to cull a bigger-than-ever selection of collectibles and furniture with a bit of that vintage, mid-century wabi-sabi that makes things feel really special and welcoming. Some will be available “as found” while others have been gussied-up with new upholstery or finishes in the inimitable Jayson style. Anything that doesn’t sell during the sale will be available in the Rare Finds section of Jayson’s site, beginning April 25.

Zella-vah Sale!

Trisha London, owner of the playful Wicker Park home boutique Zella Brown is having a one-day yard sale (sans yard) this Saturday, April 18, 11-7 p.m., knocking 25 percent off pretty much everything in the store. London named the shop after her great-granny, but there’s nothing fussy about the goods she sells. Unusual and hip vases, tableware, blankets, clocks, and furniture are available, and there are a lot of bold color options to jazz up a monochromatic crib. This chaise is handmade out of a supermarket shopping cart, and can be rolled away for $1,049 at the sale. She also exhibits local artists—we recently sourced Z.B. in a story about finding original art in unorthodox settings.

Fair Warnings

The Chicago Independent Record Project (CHIRP) is having its 7th annual Record Fair & Other Delights show this Saturday and Sunday at the beaux arts Journeymen Plumbers’ Union Hall in the West Loop (which also hosts the Chicago Antique Market), and this year there are going to be a bunch of interesting artists and crafters along with vinyl vendors and indy record label reps like Minty Fresh, who handle my buddies John and Frank Navin’s Aluminum Group band (yep, named after the Eames furniture line). Renegade Handmade and Robot City will be in the house, as will local printmaker Dan Grzeca, who created the poster pictured here. Architectural Artifacts is also vying for shoppers with a Spring Show bazaar on Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., featuring more than 60 vendors of antiques, textiles, ceramics, and jewelry.

Let’s Facebook the Music and Tweet

Chicago Home + Garden is now part of the social-networking zeitgeist, so come be our friend on Facebook. Keep up to speed on local design events, sales, inspirations, musings, and silliness, and if you’re the good-things-in-small-packages, instant gratification type, follow us on Twitter as well.